Saturday, December 22, 2012

Congratulations Egypt on passing a constitution

I would have written a more secular constitution than Egypt's Constituent Assembly did. I would have, more importantly to me, given an entire committee of elected civilians oversight of Egypt's military budget, establishing at least as much civilian control over the military as exists in the United States. To top that off, I would have written into the constitution that foreign contributions to the military especially from former colonial hegemons such as the United States must be visible to the public.

But I don't vote in Egypt's elections. The people of Egypt do, and all indications are that Egyptians have written and approved by a substantial margin a constitution that fits their values and priorities, rather than Barack Obama's, Juan Cole's, Tom Friedman's values or even my values and priorities.

Cole might say that there should have been more secular representation in the Constituent Assembly. There in that case might exist a difference of opinion between Cole and the people of Egypt over exactly what is the right amount of secular representation in a constitution-writing body. A colonialist would propose that if the people of Egypt and Juan Cole, a US citizen, disagree about what would represent a reasonable distribution of power between secularists and religionists, Cole's position, rather than that of Egypt's voters, should prevail. No reader of this blog by now could be surprised that Juan Cole takes exactly that colonialist position.

But after decades of being ruled on behalf of the government Cole votes for, Egypt is coming to be ruled on behalf of Egypt's voters themselves. That is a great step forward, and the squawking we hear from supposedly liberal and supposedly conservative commentators in the West criticising Egypt's democratic process despite the election results is actually evidence of what a significant step forward it is.

Congratulations to all of the people of Egypt.

Also congratulations to Egypt's Muslim Brothers. They have campaigned or lobbied on the most popular sides of six elections post Mubarak now. The first constitutional amendments, the People's Assembly, the Shura Council, two rounds of Presidential elections and now the constitutional referendum.

The people of Egypt have clearly expressed faith in this group of people to set Egypt's policies. I send them all of my best wishes and hopes that they prove worthy of this faith that they've been shown by the people of Egypt.

27 comments:

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Tom said...

>No reader of this blog by now could be surprised that Juan Cole takes exactly that colonialist position.

When did juan cole claim that his position should be taken over that of the people of egypt, the link that you provided does not show such a thing.

Arnold Evans said...

Cole had a disagreement with Egypt's elected officials over what constitutes a reasonable amount of secularists in the Egypt's constitution-drafting body. I'm not going to look for a link to that, but a search of this blog of 'cole' and 'constitution' should bring up a clearer example.

Tom said...

>Cole had a disagreement with Egypt's elected officials over what
constitutes a reasonable amount of secularists in the Egypt's
constitution-drafting body.

In turn you clearly also have disagreements with the turn of events.

>I would have written a more secular constitution than Egypt's
Constituent Assembly did. I would have, more importantly to me, given
an entire committee of elected civilians oversight of Egypt's military
budget, establishing at least as much civilian control over the military
as exists in the United States.

However you did not just claim that cole had a disagreement, you claimed that he wants a system where his view should actually be implemented even if the majority of egyptians feel otherwise. Yet the evidence has not been forthcoming.

Tom said...

I have checked his site but he doesnt seem to have written any such thing.

Arnold Evans said...

Cole called the constituent assembly unrepresentative. Unrepresentative of what? Egypt's voters elected the body that decided on its membership.

Cole was wrong to call it that. A disagreement with Egypt's voters about how many Muslims should be on the committee does not render the Egyptian choice unrepresentative.


This was not the worst example of Cole's colonialist tendencies, but it was an example. I'd say his worst was his support for and justification of the dissolution of the Egypt's legislature.


He also also directly advocated a system where the US-supported military maintained control of Egypt's foreign policy leaving Egypt's elected bodies to control issue of less importance to the US.


Do a search of this site for "Cole" and "Egypt" and you'll find those and more than enough other examples.

Tom said...

>This was not the worst example of Cole's colonialist tendencies, but it was an example.

You seem confused, calling the constituent assembly unrepresentative isnt a colonist viewpoint. A colonist viewpoint would support the establishment of colonies.



Also this back and forth was about your claim that cole wants a system were his views should be implemented regardless of the views of the egyptian people.


Again i have to ask where did he state this.


The link makes no such claim.

lidia said...

Arnold, it seems that Tom either pretends or really does not know the being colonialist means to want imperialist states to dictate their will to other states and do as they please.

I have little hope Tom could see colonialism of Cole. Maybe he even thinks that Cole is a great fighter for humanity :)

By the way, now Cole seems to have second thoughts about NATO "saving" Syria, because, you know, it could be bad for Israel if some weapons turned against Israel civilian planes (to down Russian or Iranian planes is probably OK to Cole).
And while Cole pays a lot of attention to Egypt, he is conspicuously mum about "liberated" Libya, even though there are some very peculiar developments.

Tom said...

I was just taking issue with the claim that juan cole supports a policy where his views should be implemented even if the egyptian people feel different.

Ive read juan coles posts quite a bit but ive never seen him suggest such a thing.

Arnold also hasnt linked to anything to show such a claim, a claim which is quite major.

>By the way, now Cole seems to have second thoughts about NATO "saving" Syria

This implies cole has changed his mind recently but from his previous posts cole has been against an intervention in syria.

Where did he state that he supported an intervention in syria lidia?

>And while Cole pays a lot of attention to Egypt, he is conspicuously mum
about "liberated" Libya, even though there are some very peculiar
developments.

Cole had a post referencing libya last week, the last time he wrote mainly about egypt was last month.

lidia said...

1) Cole posted about Egypt http://www.juancole.com/2013/04/brotherhood-seeking-revenge.html at the end of April
I cannot find his post on Libya later than this. Could Tom please provide the link of recent Cole post on Libya? (Or was it the stupid post about camel?)
Now REALLY interesting news from "democratic' ala NATO Libya
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/libya-gunmen-split-over-demands-sieges-continue
Just 1 example
2) one more post of Arnold regarding Cole
http://mideastreality.blogspot.co.il/2011/11/juan-cole-and-egypts-army-vs-people-of.html
Cole clearly see Egypt military (on USA payroll) as something positive, against the elected MB.
3) Cole from the beginning was a cheerleader of NATO bombing of Libya. He repeated all lies about Libya, including "Qaddafi's planes shot on peaceful demos,

Now there http://www.juancole.com/2012/02/syria-crimes-against-humanity-in-homs.html#comments

He said "Because of the Russian and Chinese veto at the UN Security Council, there is no authorization for the use of force by international actors. In the absence of such authorization, the US has been reduced to trying to target individual regime figures for financial sanctions and for prosecution if they ever leave Syria."
I.e. Cole would LOVE USA to do with Syria the same as with Libya, but those pesky Russkis are spoiling his fun.
Of course, his(?) accusations against Syrian government are of the same quality as about Libya. Also, he does not say a word about REAL role of USA in support for "rebels", much more than what Cole laments as "reduced" options of USA.
With Syria Cole keep on with lies about "revolution" and post this, for ex
http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/turkey-slams-un-on-syria-implies-nato-should-act-syria-bans-turkish-airlines.html
in which he claims
"NATO and Europe seem unlikely to pay more than lip service to Turkey’s calls for support in its confrontation with Damascus"
(10/14/2012)
Now let us what others posted on the same topic at the same time "Turkey has provided its territory as a base of operations for the so-called Free Syrian Army, while allowing the US to set up a CIA command-and-control center in Adana, the southern Turkish city that also hosts the US Incirlik Air Base. From there the CIA coordinates the flow of weapons, materiel, money and foreign fighters to wage a war aimed at toppling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with a more pliant puppet."
http://wsws.org/en/articles/2012/10/syri-o04.html
I.e. NATO (USA) HAD BEEN already in the mess, not a word from Cole about it, of course.

Not mentioning NATO DID send arms and soldiers to Turkey and Jourdan, contrary to Cole "predictions".

Arnold Evans said...

Tom, I'm quite bored with you, so here's what we are going to do:


Lidia and I are going to get the last words, at least here, if we want. You are allowed to post in this thread one more time, responding to whatever you want, as long as it is of reasonable length. Further posts here by you after that one will be deleted. What you can do, if you want, is put a link in your response to some different website where you can respond further. I'm very unlikely to follow such a link myself, but anyone interested is encouraged to do so.



But if you have a point to make, feel free to make it. Once.


My paragraph above you that snipped a quote from seems very clear to me. Cole believes he is better qualified to decide what a representative body for Egypt's constitutional committee should comprise than Egypt's elected parliament. A committee that fits the preferences of Egypt's elected parliament, rather than Cole's preferences, is "unrepresentative". That's what he wrote. Most Egyptians do not claim the prerogative to decide what composition a US decision making body must have in order to be representative. That's because most Egyptians, unlike Cole (as a typical American), aren't colonialists.


That's what I wrote in December. Nothing you've written makes that any less true now. I have no idea what point you're trying to make, but you'll get one more chance to make your point if you choose.

Tom said...

>I cannot find his post on Libya later than this.

The libya references that i was referring were on these posts

http://www.juancole.com/2013/05/doesnt-intervene-syria.html

http://www.juancole.com/2013/05/problems-carolina-benghazi.html

>(Or was it the stupid post about camel?)

Why would i consider this to be involved with libya?

>Now REALLY interesting news from "democratic' ala NATO Libya

Libya without doubt has some serious problems as the article points out but libyans overall seem to see the involvement of nato to have been a good thing.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/156539/Opinion-Briefing-Libyans-Eye-New-Relations-West.aspx

>Cole clearly see Egypt military (on USA payroll) as something positive, against the elected MB.

The link that you posted involved arnold saying that coles influence in regards to the issue of libya is negative.

But cole supported the libyan intervention which as shown by the link above was seen as a good thing by most libyans themselves.

This would show that arnold in this case was mistaken.

The link also seems to have the same problem as this post.

Arnold makes a claim about coles views, but when one actually looks at the original cole post we see that these claims are not accurate.

Arnold again claims that juan believes that his will should be implemented even if the egyptian people feel otherwise.

This again doesnt hold out, when one looks at the post we see that all cole did was give a summery of the views of the different groups involved, in no part did cole claim what arnold suggests he claimed.

>He repeated all lies about Libya, including "Qaddafi's planes shot on peaceful demos

I do recall cole claiming that gaddafi used violence against peaceful protesters, but lidia this claim turned out to be true.

http://www.amnesty.ie/sites/default/files/2011%20-%20The%20Battle%20for%20Libya%20%28English%29.pdf

>Security forces greeted the peaceful protests in th
e eastern cities of Benghazi, Libya’s second
city, and al-Bayda with excessive and at times lethal
force, leading to the deaths of scores of protesters and bystanders.

> Cole would LOVE USA to do with Syria the same as with Libya, but those pesky Russkis are spoiling his fun.

This is your view but where does juan actually claim that he wants an intervention lidia?

Tom said...

>Tom, I'm quite bored with you

Im not exactly the most exciting person, sorry about that

>Lidia and I are going to get the last words, at least here, if we want.

Why exactly.

>That's what he wrote.

Youve claimed this a number of times, that juan cole feels that his views should be implemented regardless of what the egyptian people want or believe.

But you havent provided a link of cole claiming such a thing.

Cole like many egyptians themselves such as ElBaradei feel that it is unrepresentative.

But having this view is quite different to claiming that his view should be enforced regardless of the view of others.

This is what you claimed, but there doesnt seem to be any evidence for it.

lidia said...

I am sorry, but Tom's 1st "example" of Cole recent post about Libya was about NOT the Libya NOW, but how NATO murdered NOT enough Libyans to bother Cole. It seems that Tom is answering me in bad faith, no wonder.
The same is Tom's misreperesenting my other point - about Cole repeating lies of Qaddafi bombing peaceful demos from the warplanes. There was NOT such things, and Cole lied. Period.
Not mentioning AI being firmly in a pocket of NATO, one needs only to see how they treat Venezuela democracy versus Honduras(USA) coup.

I short, Tom is not a person one could have a honest discussion with- he twists my words and thinks it is an argument.

Arnold, you are right. Tom is not worth having here :(
But I am sure Tom will be welcomed on Cole blog along with Joe from L, to explain us how CIA is NOT providing Al-Qaida in Syria with arms, but on the contrary, filter arms ONLY to "good" rebels. Of course, Joe also believes in Zionist claims, so they would be quite a match.

For the state(nonstate?) of Libya now see Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/10/us-benghazi-bomb-idUSBRE9490DM20130510

I esp. liked this

"France, the United States and Britain, in an unusual joint statement on Wednesday, said Libyan institutions and elected representatives must be able to work free of armed intimidation.

"We call on all Libyans to refrain from armed protest and violence during this difficult time in the democratic transition," the three Western nations said."

Maybe Tome could explain that Libyans are mostly happy with this too, as they were happy with NATO bombs.

A bit more about what Cole is NOT posting about

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/09/us-libya-militia-idUSBRE94800620130509

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/2550/19/Security-turmoil-in-Libya.aspx

http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/05/10/libya-investment-conference-in-london-postponed-because-of-crisis/
Looks like NATO bombs were not enough to made a pillage of Libya's wealth safe enough.

tom said...

> But when I feel your argument has been made, we are going to do the same thing.

Im honestly surprised by this.

Such behaviour is lacking in decency, if two people are having a discussion both sides should be allowed to state their full views.

One side shouldnt haver the right to censor the other.

As a mod one would even expect that the final word would go to the guest or visitor.

>I'm going to get the last word.



You musnt be very secure in your ability to argue for your views when you feel that you must have the last word and impose censorship.

tom said...

>I am sorry, but Tom's
1st "example" of Cole recent post about



Libya was about NOT the Libya NOW



I was just listing the recent examples of cole referring to libya and how they
came after his last reference to egypt.



>It seems that Tom is answering me in bad faith, no wonder.



Im honestly not, im sorry that you feel that way but your view is mistaken.



>There was NOT such things, and Cole lied. Period.



Gaddafis response to peaceful protests have been well investigated and these
investigations have found that his forces did use violence against civilians.



The idea that AI is biased towards nato isnt convincing.

Tom said...

Your
reason for not believing in ai also doesnt hold out lidia, ai has criticised
the abuses of the Honduras coup.

>Arnold, you are right. Tom is not worth having here :(

Its a bit unfair to suggest that im not worth having here just because i have
different views to certain things.

Surely its healthy to have a bit of a back and forth about issue, get a
discussion going.

> to explain us how CIA is NOT providing Al-Qaida in Syria with arms

Honestly i would be interested in evidence for this, the idea that the cia is
directly giving funds to al qaeda would be a very big issue.

So far it seems that the us is holding a hostile stance towards groups which
they even suspect of having a link to al qaeda such as al nusra, which it branded
as a terrorist group.

>Maybe Tome could explain that Libyans are mostly happy with this too, as
they were happy with NATO bombs.



Im
just going by the information thats there, and that does show most libyans seem
happy that gaddafi was overthrown.



Do
you have any information that shows otherwise, that most libyans feel
differently, im honestly open to it lidia.

lidia said...

Arnold, I am afraid Tom simply could not help himself. He seems just not being able to read what me write and answer to what we say. :(
So, my link about AI is not for Tom's benefit, it is just interesting

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/emersberger060712.html

tom said...

>Arnold, I am afraid Tom simply could not help himself. He seems just not
being able to read what me write and answer to what we say. :(

That isnt accurate or fair lidia.

I have been accurately reading your posts.

You can correct me if im wrong but what your claiming is that cole has not been referencing libya, but he has been referencing egypt.

Your view is also that things are worse now in libya than they were and that gaddafi did not use mass violence against unarmed protestors.

Your view is also that ai is biased towards nato.

See lidia, i have been accurately reading your posts, the problem is however your views arent exactly factual.

I pointed out that cole has indeed referenced libya this month.

I then pointed out that investigations have shown that gaddafi did use mass violence.



I then pointed out that your critique of ai wasnt the best due to the errors which you made, implying that ai said nothing about Honduras when in reality it was quite critical. I also pointed out that ai was also been critical of nato.


So you see lidia, i have been accurately reading and responding to your posts.


Honestly it just seems like you are telling yourself an non-truth (that i am not reading your posts correctly) in order to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that your views arent accurate and that you are unable to defend them factually.


Arnold seems to have the same problem, he seems to have misread coles piece and presented a misinterpretation of it, when confronted with this he went into denial and is now attempting censorship for he knows that he cannot challenge comments which pointed out this error.

лидия said...

It seems that Cole DOES posted a new item about Libya...On the other hand - no. Cole only cares about defending his favorite mass-murder aka USA prez form his not-favorite Reps. Anything else is not of interest for Cole, including the plight of "liberated" Libyans.

For ex, http://news.yahoo.com/libyas-benghazi-police-bombed-again-fridays-attack-093647866.html

I wonder, did any big USA media report it? It is really a pity Tom could not defend Cole here, I am sure Tom would explain how Cole really cares about Libya and that in Libya there are a lot of gratitude for NATO bombs :(

Samuel said...

The us media did report this incident, why did you really ask this question, it would have been easy for you to check it yourself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/world/africa/car-bomb-in-libya.html?src=twr&_r=0

Why would Cole need to be defended here, he didnt plant the bombs, he didnt support their planting either.

As pointed out already by previous posts most libyans did support nato strikes. The onus is now on those like lidia to provide evidence that the majority do not.

She has time and time suggested otherwise, but she has never presented evidence for her claims, when something like this occurs it pretty clear that their is no evidence for it isnt true. Now that is something which deserves a sad emoticon face.

лидия said...

So, after two years of mostly silence on Libyan (non)state USA media did posted something - not too early, sure.
Cole was a keen and fierce cheerleader for NATO "revolution" in Libya, posting lies (as I have mentioned) to help bring USA "progressives" into support for it. Cole mocked and called names the people who questioned his enthusiasm, and then simply banned them from his cite.So, if he has not planted a bomb himself, he at least as much guilty as Brzezinski for 9/11.
Regarding polls - why should I prove something and not pollsters? Should pollster be believed without questioning? I have given in another place the example of a poll from post-Saddam Iraq, also with happy majority. The poll had been done before the hell of NATO "liberation" turned into even worser hell of occupation. I wonder, who would NOW cite the Iraq poll.

Arnold and others, including me, had told that NATO "revolution" in Libya would turn it into new Afghanistan. It seems that we are been proved right even faster than we thought. A terrible development. Worth much more than "sad face".

Samuel said...

Thanks for the response but their seems to be a few issues with it.

The us media hasnt been silent, libya has always been getting coverage.

You are not really in a position to say otherwise for you, by your own admission, are unaware of the level of its coverage.

Youve also said that Cole was lying a number of times, but this doesnt hold out.

Imagine this was a court of law.

You think gaddafi didnt launch abuses against unarmed civilians, cole believes that he did.

Your word against coles.

However coles viewpoint is backed by investigations from a number of human rights groups, cole basically has evidence for his claim, you do not.

A court would obviously side with the person with evidence for his or hers view.

Claiming that these groups are biased and that their claims are wrong isnt enough, character assassination isnt enough, you would have to show that the investigations themselves are wrong and provide evidence for this, you have not done this.

Whats more you still have to provide evidence that gaddafi didnt do what was claimed.

The court would have no choice but to consider you to be the untruthful one in this situation.

"Regarding polls - why should I prove something and not pollsters?"

Pollsters do provide evidence, the claims they make are the result of scientific polls which come under scrutiny and which can be looked at and compared to other polls.

You however have made a claim and in turn failed to provide a reference for this claim. You seem to think that over 51% of libyans feel that the intervention was wrong, but how can we believe this to be true when you havent provided evidence for this, and the only evidence available so far has found the opposite.

A court of law example would be handy here again and please imagine yourself serving as a juror.

Two people have different views, one provides evidence for their view, the other does not, who would you believe?

Obviously the one who provided the evidence.

This is what we have here in regards to libya, there is evidence to show that over 51% of libyans feel the intervention is right.

There is no evidence to show that 51% think the opposite.

Just like those involved in a court case we have to go with the side that has evidence and not the side that makes mere claims.

Your iraq example seems to rest on the idea that most iraqis at the time of the poll felt that the invasion was wrong but the poll didnt show this, do you have evidence for this?

Also those interested in the views of the iraqis throughout the years would have no problems citing the poll as long as they point out the year the poll was taken and highlighted other polls which were taken afterwards to show the gradual change of iraqi opinion into an unhappy iraq majority.

The idea that libya is a new Afghanistan also doesnt really hold out, both countries definitely have their problems but there isnt a mass foreign presence in libya along the lines of Afghanistan for example.



Also even after all the years of terrible conflict, once more the information about the topic tends to show that the afghan people themselves are better off since the taliban overthrow, so Afghanistan isnt a very good example to berate libya.


Long post but feel free to reply, especially with evidence to back up your views.

лидия said...

Long post but I am NOT going to read it, sorry, because Samuel (?) is NOT writing it in good faith either. His words:

"You think gaddafi didnt launch abuses against unarmed civilians, cole believes that he did." are the gross misrepresenting of my clear and simple post on the same topic as everyone with an eye and a bit of honesty could see for oneself.
I am not going to deal with a person who starts with twisting of my words posted on the same page. Sorry, but I have no taste for discussing with such "opponents"

PS
I wonder, is it pure coincidence than both "Tom" and "Samuel" used the same spin of my words and facts, or is it a modus operandi for Cole's defenders, or ...

Samuel said...

Lidia if you feel that your position is being misinterpreted it would be best to first point out where and then follow it with your actual views.

From my perspective you seem to believe that gaddafi didnt use violence against unarmed civilians, was i mistaken, do you believe that he did?

There's no need to throw in the towel and run off.


Its also odd to see something claim that they didnt read something and then turn around and start quoting from it.

Arnold Evans said...

I don't feel like these back-and-forths are productive. But I do feel that any reader by now has seen a fair presentation of the views of "both" Tom and Samuel.


So the back and forths are going to stop now. Further posts by Samuel will be deleted as well as those by Tom.


But Tom "and" Samuel can take heart in the fact that their viewpoints have been presented.


Maybe that's enough. If not, oh well.

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